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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Will a Temperature Controller ruin a chest freezer?
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default Will a Temperature Controller ruin a chest freezer?

I'm in the process of looking for a temperature controller for my chest freezer/kegerator conversion project I'm doing.

I've read that if you don't select the correct controller that the constant on/off of the freezer can shorten its lifespan.

Has anyone heard or experienced this?

Also, does anyone have a recommendation on the type of controller I should think about buying?

Any tips would be great.

Thanks.

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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I don't see it being an issue. The analog Johnson controller that I use has a temp rise window of 5 degrees F., meaning that it doesn't kick on every time it falls a degree---it only comes on after it falls 5 degrees.

Furthermore, once my freezer is at temp, it takes a long time to warm up. I'll be sitting down in my brewshop and not hear it come on for hours.

Think about it for a second, though: without the temp controller, the freezer still cuts on and off trying to keep the temp at whatever the freezing temp is. So what if it's 30 degrees higher? It still has to maintain a temp in the same manner. Actually, given that most spaces are warmer, it seems like it would be EASIER to keep it at 38f than it would be to keep it at freezing or lower, and thus, it would cut on/off less often, not more.

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:29 PM   #3
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Ditto. Mine cuts on about once every 2 hours and I am using a Johnson also. If you use Ranco then you can set your variance. Aslong as you don't do something like set it to 2 degrees you should be golden.

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:38 PM   #4
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Since you are setting the temperature of your kegger higher than what would be normal (be it a chest freezer or fridge), the controller will cycle less often than the internal thermostat would have.

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:59 PM   #5
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You can further prevent frequent cycling by putting your controller probe in a small volume of water. Even something like a white labs vile would be good. This keep the probe from warming up 5+ degrees when you open the lid for some reason. It's a short time frame buffer.

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Old 11-07-2007, 03:13 PM   #6
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As others have said, you'll be fine. I have a Ranco ETC-111000 controller I got off Ebay and I'm really very happy with it.

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Old 11-07-2007, 03:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhoobarb
As others have said, you'll be fine. I have a Ranco ETC-111000 controller I got off Ebay and I'm really very happy with it.
I have the same one...no complaints here.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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I have heard that most chest freezer problems (with or without a controller) are due to using extension cords with the incorrect guage. (Cord is too thin and too long.)

My Ranco has a pretty fat cord. If you wire your own, I'd look into that and I'd avoid using a cheap extension cord.


I'll see if I can find a post here to back me up.

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Old 11-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #9
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Ok, you guys put my mind at ease. I don't even remember where I read this in the first place.

I'll see if I can find a Ranco out there for a good deal.

I figured that alot of people already went down this road and I wanted to be better safe than sorry.

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Old 11-07-2007, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
I have heard that most chest freezer problems (with or without a controller) are due to using extension cords with the incorrect guage. (Cord is too thin and too long.)...
I'd read that, too. I used a standard 12/3 pigtail found at any hardware store. Mine's a 3-foot cord. I'd avoid anything longer.
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